Autocars L Paget et fils
53, rue d'Inkermann
Curiously, the property numbers in rue d’Inkermann are split between Villeurbanne and Lyon. Numbers up to 44 (even), and 49 (odd) are in Villeurbanne. Above that they are in Lyon. As well as buses, the Paget family was owner of the Garage d’Inkermann (RCS 955 507 305), which still exists. The garage is recorded as first registered on 24/05/1955 at the same address, and presumably was sold at the same time as the buses, as the business moved to 7 rue Notre Dame, Lyon, and the Ronchetti family have run it at least since 2005.
We have already met Paget in the history of Vallée d’Azergues, where he appeared in 1952 as sub-contracted to run the Bois d’Oingt to Ste Paule service. But the business has always been discreet – no complaints or fiery letters to the authorities, - and Paget built up a sizeable network without a great deal of fuss, and without revealing a great deal of information. The problems begin with the history of the company. It is in the name of L. PAGET, presumably the father who would have been born about 1895. But no information on his role in the business was found, or of the early days. The earliest reference is in 1940 – see below.
The following company registration details are from 10/06/1955. But the first registration was in 1943 for a 37 year period from 1943 to 1980 – RCS 55 B 813. The 1955 document was a re-registration, an unusual procedure and unexplained. The new registration allocated - B13 156 - later became B955 508 130. The 1955 document shows it as an S.A. with a capital of 225,000 F, but with the address at 11, rue d’Inkermann, Villeurbanne.
The PDG was Georges Paget (born 09/02/16) and the other directors were his wife Marie née Odin (11/03/13), their daughter Françoise GONTARD née Paget (11/06/42 – we have to assume this certificate was issued much later than 1955 and had been up-dated, as Françoise could not have been a company director at the age of 13), - and Camille Porte (03/01/1900).
On 31 July, Mr Paget, 53, rue d’Inkermann, Lyon, was authorized twice a week to run his Cours – Tarare route into Lyon, via l’Arbresle.
At this period in time, the garage and the bus company shared the same notepaper.
The business was authorised to operate Le Cergne – Lyon, starting on Saturday 26 August 1950, but without security of tenure.
LE CERGNE 05.45 > 06.00 COURS 06.15 > Lyon
LE CERGNE 21.05 < 20.50 COURS 20.40 < Lyon
The business’ trunk route, Villefranche – Cours, appeared in the new département transport plan with 1 return and a partial return on Mondays, 1 on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2 on Saturdays and Sundays.
The 1952 timetable
This route appears to have come from Marcel Dumont of Cublize, who declared in 1940 that he had been running it since 2 April 1936 (2 returns daily via Lacenas and Thizy), using three vehicles:
6019 PF Saurer (1929) 28 + 6In 1942, Mr Dumont’s heirs arranged for Mr Lacroix, a garage owner in Villefranche, to run the service on a temporary basis on their behalf, and at the same time the mayor of Amplepuis was asking for the service to run via his town.
4919 PF2 Citroën (1930) 22 + 3
9616 PF Chevrolet (1929) 22 + 4 replaced by 9265 PF 6 Citroën (1935)
In wartime conditions this was sensible – an additional 160 kms per month (estimated as 64 litres of petrol) to serve one of the largest bourgs in the area. The Comité Restreint des Transports Voyageurs gave their agreement on 15 October 1942. Vehicles were timed to arrive at 07.40 and 18.55, stopping at the Café Betailly.
The 1942 Lacroix letter gives details of the service to be provided in Amplepuis.
There is no documentation as to how or when the heirs of Marcel Dumont sold or transferred their rights to Paget, but in a letter dated 24/06/1947, the RSAR - Régie des Services Automobiles du Rhöne - wrote that it was stopping operating its own Villefranche – Cours and Lyon – Cours routes a week later on 30 June. Operations were being handed over to Mr Paget, owner of the rights to the routes, who would now use his own vehicles .The Régie had been operating as a sub-contractor.
By 1963, Villefranche - Thizy – Cours was only taking receipts of 0,8144 F per km, and Paget was asking for emergency mesures to bring the route back into profit.
Mr Marcel Machon, of Alix, had run a Tuesday market service into Bois d’Oingt from Alix since an unspecified date. He appears then to have taken over the Chatillon - Chessy - Bois d’Oingt service run by J. Barès of Chatillon d’Azergues since 1930. Another operator, Mr Chavand of l’Arbresle operated a St Pierre La Palud - Villefranche market service. Both these operators’ services were bought by Paget in 1954. He reorganized the routes which became:
Arbresle – Villefranche – outwards 08.00 > 08.55, return 12.00 < 13.00.
Arbresle – Le Bois d’Oingt - outwards 08.00 > 08.28, return 11.00 < 11.28, and
Alix – L’Arbresle - outwards 08.00 > 08.30, return 11.30 < 12.00
The trunk Villefranche service was authorized to run into Lamure on one Monday timing:
Villefranche 12.30 > 13.40 Grandris > 13.50 Lamure
Villefranche 15.00 < 14.10 Grandris < 14.00 Lamure
The Mont Cindre is a beauty spot close to Lyon and a favourite destination for weekend outings in the summer.
Le Mont Cindre
Mont Cindre seen from Sathonay Camp
In 1958, Paget and the OTL were at loggerheads, both wanting to operate what must have been a lucrative service, and Paget ended up by sub-contracting the service to OTL (later TCL). Most unusual – how did this come about?
Paget claimed to have run this service since at least 1932, and supplied a list of the fleet at that time – all Berliets, but the model not specified. It is not clear whether the numbers 1 to 10 were fleet numbers or simply used for this list:
1 6716 C 1 32 seats
2 6190 PF3 17
3 6778 PF3 17
4 1013 PF3 21
5 6101 PF 27
6 868 C22 25
7 6707 PF 3 20
8 5118 PF1 32
9 6213 PF2 30
10 6777 PF3 37
During the War, the service was suspended. Subsequently Paget formally requested the restitution of the service on 14/05/1946 and 25/05/1949 from Lyon Vaise to Mont Cindre from the 1st Sunday in April until the end of September – 2 returns Sat, 4 returns Sun. So Paget was the incumbent operator.
In 1954, on 7 December, OTL offered to buy the service for 300,000 F, a calculation based on 1952 receipts, and OTL even tried out new vehicles on the service, with Paget’s agreement, whilst the negotiations were progressing.. But Paget, with explanations, calculated the fair price at 15,000 times the price of a ticket to Mont Cindre, ie 100 F, a total of 1.5 million F. So the deal did not go through.
But the Mont Cindre was within the OTL catchment area, and the authorities must have put pressure on Paget. Finally in 1958, Paget retained the rights but hired those rights to OTL, who paid 10% of receipts to Paget as an annual rental.
In 2018, it is TCL route 20 Gare de Vaise – St Cyr, that is extended to Mont Cindre on some summer timings.
A big review of schools contracts by the CTD in the Lyon area led to:
An OTL – Paget consortium chosen for Notre Dame de Bellegarde, Neuville – Lyon, 60 km per day, 60 children, 188 F per day.
An OTL – Paget consortium chosen for CEG Ferber, Collonges – Lyon, 50kms per day, 99 children, OTL 66 F per morning trip, Paget 48 F per afternoon trip.
Paget chosen for Dommartin – Civrieux, 100 km per day, 69 children, 160F per day – this was the only offer to arrive within the imparted delay – a second offer arrived too late.
1969 and 1970
In 1969, market services included two Tarare circuits, the 615 which ran at 12.00 on Thursdays and the 623 which ran at 12.00 on Saturdays.
In 1970, timings changed for the Bois d’Oingt market:
Service 609 to Oingt, now left at 11.00But with private car ownership, market buses were reaching the end of their existence. And in 1970, for lack of traffic, the Tarare Tuesday services 624 and 623 were discontinued. The figures justifying this were:
Service 613 to St Verand left at 11.25
Service 718 to L’Arbresle left at 11.55
Income in F. Kms run
August 102,70 232
September 53,60 290
October 25,30 174
In 1973, Georges Paget was 57. There was no apparent heir to the family business, and maybe he could sense that the future for country bus operations was bleak.
So on 30/07/1973, in the offices of Dubost & Marmey, notaries in Lyon, he sold the business to RSAR. The Régie des Services Automobiles du Rhône will be the subject of a separate history, but as a public company owned by the département, it had a history of trying to maintain country services which no longer interested private companies.
An extensive network was involved, even if many routes were infrequent.
Lyon – Cours via Tarare, Amplepuis 3 returns daily
Tarare – Les Sauvages 1 return Thursday
Lyon – La Tour de Salvagny (ex TCRL) 5 returns daily
St Pierre La Palud to L’Arbresle 2 returns daily plus 1 extra on Fri & Sat
Circuit Tarare Valsonne Tarare 1 Wed, 2 Sat and Sun + 2 Thurs via St Verand
Valsonne – Tarare 2 daily + 2 Thu, 1 Sat, Sun and 4 on summer Sundays
Cours - Le Cergne 2 returns Sat. No longer operated but the rights still existed
St Victor (Loire) – Cours 15 weekly via Bourg de Thizy
7 partials from Thizy to St Victor
7 partials from Bourg de Thizy to St. Victor
Villefranche – Cours 2 returns daily
Bessenay – L’Arbresle On school days only
Bully – L’Arbresle 2 returns daily + 1 extra Fri
Alix – L’Arbresle 1 return Friday
L’Arbresle – Lozanne 1 return Friday
Circuit Tarare via Dième 2 returns Thursday + 1 partial
Bois d’Oingt – Oingt 2 returns Tuesday
L’Arbresle – Le Bois d’Oingt 1 return Tuesday
St Verand – Le Bois d’Oingt 1 return Tuesday
L’Arbresle – Villefranche via Chatillon 1 return Monday
Tarare – Villefranche 1 return Monday
There were 8 licences for Excursions numbered 696401 to 696408, and a travel agency (licence B63 003).
The sale price was 1 million francs, based on the following business figures:
In F Turnover Profit
1970 1.900.034 (12.205)
1971 2.104.965 43.692
1972 2.163.369 (48.668)
1973 (6m) 1.200.227
There was no mention of vehicles being included in the sale, leaving the mystery as to where RSAR sourced its fleet and what Paget did with his.
And a final twist – whilst Mr Paget was prevented from competing with RSAR in the future, he was specifically authorized to take up the post of Directeur Administratif with SA Philibert, a major Rhône operator then and now.
Clive D’EATH - 25/01/2019
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